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New Study Warns Against Extinction of Orangutans

The population of Bornean orangutans halved in just 16 years.

Orangutans are one of man’s closest relatives in the animal kingdom. They are the only great ape species in Asia, and they share 97% of human DNA. They have the ability to reason and to think, as well as to develop their own cultures. But a recently published study warns against the orangutan’s extinction – and it could all be due to human activity.

The new study, titled “Global Demand for Natural Resources Eliminated More Than 100,000 Bornean Orangutans” and published in Current Biology, found that human activities like logging, mining, hunting, and deforestation, among others, have slashed the population of Bornean orangutans into half in just 16 years. That’s from 1999 to 2015.

Orangutans are endangered species that must be protected.

Source: Pixabay

According to an estimate by the World Wildlife Fund, a little over 100,000 Bornean orangutans remain. For Sumatran orangutans, the estimated number is alarmingly less than 15,000.

The researchers and collaborators compiled field surveys from 1999 to 2015 to estimate the Bornean orangutans’ population.

Source: Pixabay

The study estimated a loss of 148,500 orangutans over the 16-year period. Maria Voigt of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany was quoted by Quartz as saying:

“The decline in population density was most severe in areas that were deforested or transformed for industrial agriculture, as orangutans struggle to live outside forest areas. Worryingly, however, the largest number of orangutans were lost from areas that remained forested during the study period. This implies a large role of killing.”

The researchers also estimate that in the next 35 years, 45,000 more orangutans will disappear.

Source: Pixabay

The researchers made their recommendations on how to prevent the extinction of orangutans. Quartz quoted Serge Wich from Liverpool John Moores University as saying:

“In addition to protection of forests, we need to focus on addressing the underlying causes of orangutan killing. The latter requires public awareness and education, more effective law enforcement, and also more studies as to why people kill orangutans in the first place.”

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‘World’s Loneliest Bird’ Found Dead Next to Concrete Bird He Wooed for Years

RIP, Nigel the gannet.

For years, the 'world's loneliest bird' persevered to woo his rather stone-cold love interest. Nigel, a gannet, showed up on Mana Island in New Zealand in 2015, where he met the apple of his eye. The only problem was that his potential mate was made of concrete.

Some 20 years ago, conservationists in New Zealand planted 80 fake gannet birds on the island as part of their efforts to attract real gannets. Nigel was the only one to show up after many years, and he was the first gannet to make Mana his home in 40 years.

Every day since his arrival on the island, Nigel wooed his potential partner.

The conservationists reported that Nigel even built a nest from seaweed, twigs, and mud for his concrete love interest. Sadly and expectedly, his efforts were never reciprocated. In a tragic turn of events, Nigel was recently found dead next to his concrete love. Chris Bell, a ranger for the New Zealand Department of Conservation, was quoted by The Guardian: ...

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10 Of The World’s Most Fascinating Yet Disturbing Bugs

They must be aliens sent from outer space.

Insects are among the most fascinating yet frightening creatures in the world. It's either you hate them or you'll love them enough to appreciate them and be in awe of their unique characteristics.

But beyond the usual bugs that you see at home or in your garden, there are more that are somehow creepy but captivating at the same time. Below is a list of some of the most disturbing insects found around the world.

#1. Lymantrid moth (Calliteara pudibunda)

The Lymantrid moth is commonly found in beech forests in Denmark. Each female moth is capable of laying 300-400 eggs, which she usually does just near the place where she metamorphosed into a moth. The caterpillar of a Lymantrid moth is extremely hairy and these hairs are easily transported by the wind. The caterpillar fully grows by autumn with vibrant colors and reaches a length of about five centimeters long....

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Rare Walking Fish With Hands Discovered Off Tasmanian Coast

The red handfish is not a good swimmer, so it walks on the seabed.

Every now and then, rare and weird creatures from across the globe make grand appearances. Scientists discover rare species one after another. Now, a team of divers has discovered a small population of fish that "walk" along the seabed off Australia's south coast in Tasmania.

What's weird is that this rare fish population has finger-like fins that help them walk across the surface of the ocean. Dubbed as the Red Handfish (Thymichthys politus), this is one of the rarest fish species in the world.

Today, only 20 to 40 individuals of these fishes have been found worldwide.

Antonia Cooper from IMAS University of Tasmania said in a statement:...

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